By Paolo Juvara, CEO, Openbravo
We live in the golden age of computing, with major trends such as cloud computing, mobility and social
network revolutionizing the way we interact with machines and consume information. In this day and
age, it seems anachronistic to have to emphasize the benefits of the Internet and Internet computing.
Yet, in the world of business applications, especially for the midmarket ERP, technology seem to have stopped twenty years ago and most solutions on the market are still solidly stuck in the client/server
computing paradigm of the '90s. Traditional legacy ERP solutions such as the Microsoft Dynamics
products, SAGE MAS line, SAP B1 all have two tiers client/server solutions with a Microsoft Windows only client app. These vendors are still promoting this architecture as the best computing paradigm with the excuse that in small and medium businesses all users are firmly tied to the PC on their desk and therefore the Internet does not matter. We asked Openbravo users what benefits they get from their webbased ERP and here are the top 10 answers:
1. A web based ERP gives you global visibility in all of your company locations with minimal infrastructure requirements and no IT complexity.
2. A web based ERP allows you to access your company information anytime, anywhere, from any device.
You can for example connect from the airport on your way to a Board Meeting and verify if that big sale has been closed within the quarter, without the need to travel to or to call the office.
Guess what? You are not forced to choose Windows. If you or your staff prefer to work on MacOS, it works on that too
(not to mention smartphones and tablets).
3. A web based ERP has a single point of maintenance. Single server, single database, single IT team all mean lower cost of operation, maintenance and upgrade and a significant reduction
in total cost of ownership.
4. A web based ERP makes expanding to a new location a breeze as the additional IT investment is minimal. There is no need to deploy distributed servers or powerful PCs in every site;
an Internet connection and a standard browser is all you need.
5. A web based ERP allows all employees to participate in your business process automation, resulting in better data, better visibility and better control. This means more accurate and
timely insight in your company performance and therefore higher margins. For example, the sales team can access the invoice and payment history of their customers anytime, anywhere, without having to call the finance department; this reduces the load on the finance team and allows them to do their
job more productively.
6. A web based ERP allows the extended organization - including all employees, suppliers and customers - to collaborate more effectively as they can always be connected to the company's
information system. For example, suppliers can view your stock levels in real time and ensure timely replenishment while customers can review the status of an order and see when it will be shipped.
7. A web based ERP allows telecommuting and increases the morale of your employees. Staffers working with customers at their sites do not need to stop by the office on Friday to complete a time sheet. They can do it from their smartphone on their way home.
8. A web based ERP allows you to easily integrate external services such as email, analytics or CRM,creating mashups where the resulting combination brings more value than the individual
9. A web based ERP means that you can live the cloud life and not worry about losing you ERP access if your PC crashes or employees losing their laptop with confidential data in it.
10. A web based ERP allows small and medium business owners, who often have to play the role of the IT guy for their staff to spend their week ends with their family instead of installing and upgrading client software in the company's PCs